NC Democrats Begin Push For Red Flag Law

(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

Earlier this year, the state of North Carolina passed a bill that would repeal a draconian Jim Crow-era law that requires a permit prior to buying a gun. The governor vetoed it.

Now, the same state legislature that voted to repeal a bit of gun control is being asked to pass a bit more. I’m talking about a push to pass a red flag law.

House Democrats are pushing for the North Carolina General Assembly to debate two bills that would change gun laws in the state.

House Bill 525 would allow North Carolina residents to stop other people from obtaining a firearm in certain situations. House Bill 623 would require a permit for “long guns,” or long-barrelled guns.

Democrats have pushed for the legislation in previous sessions after gun violence incidents. House Democrats filed discharge petitions to move the bills out of committee and to the full House for debate this week.

“This is common-sense gun safety legislation to prevent suicides and gun violence,” Rep. Marcia Morey, D-Durham, said regarding HB 525. “We need 61 members to get this bill debated.”

Republicans hold the majority in both chambers of the Legislature. There are 52 Democrats and 68 Republicans in the House. Democrats have not been able to successfully move a bill from committee for the past few years, Rep. Julie von Haefen, D-Wake, said last week during a news conference.

And this is the direction they wanted to go?

The very same legislature that passed a pro-Second Amendment bill is the one they expect to pass a red flag law? Good luck with that.

The irony here is that this could have actually been done. Had state Democrats been smart, they could have made it happen, but they took their typical “all or nothing” approach and so now they get to waste their time trying to push this bill.

See, had the governor stepped up and said that he’d sign the licensing bill if Republicans would have backed the red flag law, I suspect they could have scared up nine legislators to support it. There actually is support for red flag laws among the GOP, after all.

Democrats would have had their win with a red flag law and Republicans would have ended a very problematic purchase permit requirement. Everyone would have won.

And while I vehemently oppose red flag laws, I’d still count this as mostly a pro-Second Amendment win. Ending a purchase permit law would benefit all gun buyers. A red flag law would only negatively impact a handful of folks. Awful if you’re one of the handful, to be sure, and I’d still want to see it repealed as fast as possible, but while it’s one step back, removing the permit would be two steps forward.

But Democrats weren’t interested in wheeling and dealing.

For all their talk about how Republicans won’t compromise, this is a prime example of how they could have tried to show us how it’s done. They didn’t.

Instead, they threw their tantrum and vetoed a bill that repealed a law with deep racist roots–and at a time when Democrats are supposedly tearing down anything with any tie to racism and slavery they can even imagine.

So, Republicans have no reason to back this one. Compromise is a two-way street, and Democrats are truly incapable of it, particularly when it comes to guns.